Diego Costa – A Look At Chelsea’s Latest Acquisition

Updated: July 2, 2014

Chelsea announced last evening that the club has reached an agreement with Atlético Madrid over the transfer of Diego Costa. Chelsea’s interest in the Spanish international has been a long rumoured one, with the official announcement finally putting an end to all speculations.

If you have been following us closely, I’m sure you came across Oscar’s analysis of Costa’s strengths and weaknesses along with other potential striker options for Chelsea in his latest “By The Numbers” piece. Today, we take at a holistic look at the latest addition to the Chelsea squad.

Costa, a Brazilian citizen by birth, started his professional career for Braga in 2006. After spending close to a year in the reserve squad of Braga and on loan at Penafiel, he arrived at Atlético as a 18 yr old. Following a series of loans at various clubs across La Liga, Costa was sold to Real Valladolid in 2009, as a part of a swap deal. A season later, in which he netted just 8 times in 34 appearances, Costa was bought back by Atlético. A serious knee injury and another loan spell (this time at Rayo Vallecano) ensued before Costa finally found his place in Diego Simeone’s Atlético squad. Earlier destined as a back-up to Sergio Aguero, he rose to prominence in 2012/13 as he found the back of the net in 20 occasions in 44 appearances. Costa was a mainstay for the La Liga champions last season, scoring 36 goals in 52 appearances.

Accurate finishing of chances is the strong trait in Costa’s game. Costa played around 2957 minutes last season, in La Liga alone and shot just 108 times. 93 of those shots came from inside the penalty area while 15 from outside. The fact that only Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi registered more goals next to their names in the respective leagues is a testimony to the fact at how good Costa has been in finishing the chances created by his side.

rsz_shotsAlthough Costa has been a reluctant shooter, the “shots inside the area” form a significant fraction of his numbers. Costa’s shot accuracy of 57% is a great return and falls secondary only to Messi and Lewandowski among the leading ten goal-scoring forwards in Europe’s premier five leagues. The age-old proverb, when it comes to strikers, is “If you shoot more, you will score more”. Taking goals-to-shots ratio, Costa’s 0.25 is pretty healthy in comparison to Suarez’s 0.17 and Ibrahimovic’s 0.16. To simply things, Costa scores once every 4 shots he takes, while Suarez scores once in every 5.8 shots.

Creativity isn’t Costa’s strong point. He is a fairly creative striker, but falls behind Suarez and Ibrahimovic by a long margin.

rsz_passesCosta’s awareness of the in-game situation has been lauded by most and it is expected, his creative streak will be more dominant when surrounded by the likes of Hazard and Oscar.

Chelsea have struggled to get goals from their frontman since the double winning season under Carlo Ancelotti. In spite of possessing a plethora of attacking talents, players who donned the roles of centre forward for Chelsea over the last three seasons has failed to convert the chances or effectively link-up play. A combination of misfiring Torres, ageing Eto’o and squandering Ba frustrated the Blues fans across the globe.

Financially, apart from the £32m buy-out clause which Chelsea has agreed to meet, Costa will cost Chelsea anywhere between £7.8-9.6m in wages per year.

Diego Costa is expected to make an immediate impact. He has consistently performed at the highest level. At 25, he is just entering the prime of his career. Robust and physically strong, Costa is just the kind of centre forward Jose Mourinho prefers – someone who constantly keeps the opposition defenders on his toes and makes merry with the chances that come his way. Considering Chelsea’s track record with strikers in recent seasons, it is a pressure job but one which Costa is perfectly capable of.

Hello Diego! Welcome to Chelsea FC!


  1. Bwemoni

    July 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I hope all these purchases will not be “over dose” and so, hazardous to my beloved club.

  2. Pingback: News In A Flash – Costa, Luis IN; Ba OUT; Preseason Games Start - Chelsea Index

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